Day Ten of our little adventure is a set-up for Day Eleven.
To be honest, I'd forgotten I'd written this one down. Which, given my memory, is no bad thing.
Life is full of nice surprises.
Fluorescent Blue Soundbites
I’ve just received a mysterious parcel in the mail.
The postman handed over with his usual air of indifference, putting a brave face on the fact that he prefers to hide parcels behind the hedge and leave an illegible note about it.
I unwrap the box as I sit on the sofa, and discover a well-loved Magic Eight Ball beneath layers of bubble wrap. I notice that many of the bubbles have already been burst. I burst a few more of the little suckers and smile.
Children, every one of us.
I’ve never owned a Magic Eight Ball, but I suspect I’ve always wanted one. In the advertising, it’s a source of knowledge and enlightenment that is accessible and affordable to anyone. In reality, it's a black plastic ball, three inches across, with a clear, round viewing panel. Inside is some kind of viscous liquid, and a twenty-faced, floating geometric solid *. On each face of the die is a message, a response to a yes/no question.
[ * For gamers among you, it’s a large d20. For those of you who are not, I deny everything.]
The theory is that you shake the ball, and ask a question. You then check out the viewing panel and wait for the answer to appear. The die floats up through the blue goo and contrives to appear as a fluorescent soundbite. Well, textbite. Most of the responses are positive, some are negative, and some are somewhere in the middle.
Cool. Well, if you’re ten years old.
Or still have the sense of wonder of a ten-year old.
There’s no note or receipt with the parcel, but it’s clearly addressed to me. I’ll wonder about the source of this gift later. The ball is somewhat battered, and the defining white circle with the number eight on it is yellowed. Clearly this lad has seen a lot of action over the years.
I guess wisdom is always in demand.
I notice a cup of tea on the coffee table. Yes, I know. Deciding to give the mystic insight of the ball a try, I give it a theatrical shake. I sense it sloshing more than I hear it. I clear my throat, and intone with suitable gravitas,
O Magic Eight Ball, I ask thee! Is that cup of tea still hot?
I don’t think this is strictly necessary, but it makes it fun. The answer wanders up towards me.
MY SOURCES SAY NO.
I try the tea, and spit the cold liquid back into the cup. Lucky guess.
Looking at the overcast day outside, I try again.
Will the sun shine today? Shake-shake.
Again, the glowing answer materialises from the depths.
ASK AGAIN LATER.
Yes, this is exactly how I imagined it would work. Still, it’s cheaper than a fortune teller. And every bit as reliable as the weatherman.
Maybe something a bit more challenging?
Will I write a book? Shake-shake.
CONCENTRATE AND ASK AGAIN.
Concentrate? Okay, let’s define my terms better.
Will I write and publish a book in the next three years? Shake-shake.
So am I right to sharpen my skills on my blog? Shake-shake.
YES - DEFINITELY.
And will I have a pizza tonight to celebrate? Shake-shake.
What? I don’t remember that in the advert. Still, fair comment. On a roll, and keen for even more good news, I venture,
Will I meet and marry the woman of my dreams? Shake-shake.
Cheeky bastard. Somewhat dejected, I shake the ball idly.
I drop the mystic sphere in surprise. It thump-thumps heavily, and rolls as far as the coffee table. Retrieving it, the answer has changed.
Hmmm. Suspicious. An idea starts to form in my mind about who mailed me the ball.
Did an evil genius send this to me? Shake-shake.
I FIND YOUR LACK OF FAITH DISTURBING.
Okay, just tell me! Did iDifficult send you to me? Shake-shake.
Suddenly, there’s a slow insistent ticking from the ball.
THIS DEVICE WILL SELF-DESTRUCT IN TEN SECONDS.
Well, that answers that question.
As I dive behind the sofa, I decide to ask a fortune teller next time.
Continue to Day 11 >>
This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2010